Nice @belfercenter Q&A with climate/energy maven David Keith. Here’s one of many smart thoughts: Q. Why have humans failed so spectacularly to curb greenhouse gas emissions so far – and is there is a no-turning-back deadline regarding global warming?
I don’t know. One answer may lie in the fact that language of environmental advocacy has become increasingly technocratic. Calls for action often stress quantitative measures and self-interest. We are urged to protect the natural environments because of the “ecosystem services” they yield. These arguments have merit, but I suspect they obscure much of what actually drives people’s choices. If we are protecting a rain forest because it stores carbon or yields wonder drugs, then we should be happy to cut down the forest if some carbon storage machine or molecular biotech lab can better provide these services. The utilitarian benefits of the natural world are real, but for me they are a grossly insufficient measure of its value. While I may be an extreme, I think I am not alone, and I suspect that a more directly value-driven conversation about climate might be more effective than the current debate.
Dorothy E. Roberts, “Prison, Foster Care, and the Systemic Punishment of Black Mothers”
This is just a tiny snippet of the conclusion, but if you have a chance to read the whole thing please do. The full text pdf is at the source.
Gayatri Spivak interviewed by Sneja Gunew. ‘Questions of Multiculturalism.’ in The Post-Colonial Critic. p. 62-3.
j-b: I had the chance to see Spivak give a talk at UCLA a couple years ago and she told this wonderful anecdote about how she would sometimes, in all-white settings, make a joke along the lines of, ‘in my culture, we respect people who interrupt others’ when she was interrupting a speaker. And, to her chagrin and amusement, saying that was often enough to secure her the floor to speak.
And what I took from that anecdote is that Spivak wins forever.
I feel like I scream this inside my head so much that it might explode.